This modern take on The Three Stooges brings back all the trademark elements and physical hilarity that shot the Stooges to fame back in the 1900s, introducing a new generation to their comedic dominance of films, shorts, and television.
In this remake, we meet the Three Stooges as toddlers tossed onto the steps of an orphanage. By the time Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes), and Curly (Will Sasso) have grown up, the nuns at the orphanage have become tired and pummeled by many years of finger-poking, nyuk-nyuk-nyuking, and all sorts of misadventure churned up by the trio.
Mother Superior (Jane Lynch) learns that the orphanage is at risk of being shut down because of financial difficulties. Moe, Larry, and Curly, having been the orphanage’s maintenance men, are determined to raise $830,000 in 30 days to save the only home they know.
Pure-hearted but dim-witted, the trio find themselves entangled in a twisted murder plan with a woman named Lydia (Sofia Vergara), who is scheming to kill her husband, when they leave the orphanage for the first time and clumsily stagger their way into the big city. There they also meet a variety of modern pop-culture characters like the cast of Jersey Shore, Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa, and swimsuit model Kate Upton.
Many A-list actors were considered to play the bumbling buffoons for this project that was well over five years in the making, but the roles were given to Chris Diamantopoulos, Emmy Award-winner Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso from “MADtv.”
The three of them were able to fill the shoes of the Stooges in an uncanny manner, fully committing to and embodying their characters in every dimension. Despite their faithful resemblance to the Stooges, however, the plot was not entirely convincing but was humorous enough to satisfy Stooges fans.
The rest of the cast is an interesting collection, with Jane Lynch from Glee, Larry David, and Jennifer Hudson. Although the cameo appearance of Jersey Shore is relevant to the storyline and current pop-culture, there was a little too much focus on the reality show than necessary and it became borderline promotion.
Co-directors and siblings Bobby and Peter Farrelly did something right in their homage, and that was to resurrect of all the famous sound effects (“boinks,” “woo” ing, face slaps, hair ripping, eye pokes) needed to bring this film to life. It was also a plus that they made sure to add a brief warning at the end to remind kids in the audience that the antics and stunts were all a product of rubber props and sound effects.
The Three Stooges is a fun, light-hearted reboot that does justice to the classics. Updated for a new audience, it stirs up nostalgia while carrying on the legacy of the original slapstick empire, even if it won’t be very memorable.